Causes of Frozen Shoulder
There is no definite cause for frozen shoulder, however it's believed to be a result of inflammation and scar tissue developing in your shoulder capsule which shrinks your capsule size and limits shoulder and humerus movement. It generally starts as a little pinch of pain around the long head of your biceps tendon that doesn't get better. The shoulder capsule then starts to stick to itself and wraps tightly around your joint. The inflammation spreads and causes swelling in your other tissues like your bursa. The amount of synovial fluid (which helps the shoulder joint move) is decreased causing pain and lack of movement in your shoulder joint.
This condition can be a result of primary frozen shoulder or secondary frozen shoulder. Primary frozen shoulder occurs for no apparent reason (idiopathic cause). Secondary frozen shoulder is generally a result of changes in the structures and tissues supporting your shoulder and/or diseases.
There are a number of things that can cause damage to your shoulder muscles and tissues such as repetitive use or overuse from work or sporting activities, acute injuries and aging. Over the years your muscles will start to lose their mass and strength, your tissues will lose their elasticity and degenerate, making you more susceptible to injury. Weakened muscles and/or tendons or injuries to your rotator cuff (tears, impingements), arm or shoulder fractures, arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis or surgery can instigate frozen shoulder. You are at increased risk of suffering from this condition if your shoulder or arm have been immobilized or splinted and you haven't moved the area in a while.
Frozen shoulder has also been linked to poor posture or slouching which shortens the ligaments around your shoulder joint.
Some medical professionals believe frozen shoulder is caused from an autoimmune reaction, where your body's defense system attacks itself (it thinks its going after foreign material). This action causes inflammation in the tissues being attacked; as a result your shoulder freezes up.
Hormonal and genetic conditions also can influence your chance of experiencing frozen shoulder. People who suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, lung disease, chronic bronchitis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Parkinson's disease, Dupuytren's contracture, or those who undergo breast surgery, heart attack or stroke (who are paralyzed on one side) where they are unable to move their shoulders through full range of motion for a period of time are at a higher risk as well.
Frozen shoulder is 5 times more common in people with diabetes, affecting 10 - 20% of people who have it. Glucose molecules attach to collagen (connective and/or scar tissue) in people with diabetes, which builds up in the joint and can cause the shoulder to stiffen.
Generally frozen shoulder occurs in people between 40 - 70 years of age; it is very rare in young people. 60% of women over 40 years of age have a risk of suffering from frozen shoulder, possibly as a result of hormonal changes during menopause. However it can occur in both men and women.
Treating Your Frozen Shoulder
If you heal your frozen shoulder properly, your chance of recurrance or chronic shoulder conditions later on is greatly reduced. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ will promote blood flow to heal your labrum, ligaments, and tendons in the rotator cuff and glenohumeral joint faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Therapy
To decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of frozen shoulder doctor's recommend cold compression therapy. Treating your shoulder pain with cold compression as needed will relieve pain and will reduce, or even eliminate, the need for pain medication that affects your entire body and can cause problems is used for a long period of time.
The Shoulder Freezie Wrap® is the cold compression tool you need to treat your frozen shoulder pain in an effective and convenient way.
The deep cooling effect provided by the Shoulder Freezie Wrap® gently numbs your nerves to reduce pain naturally!
The Shoulder Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn. The medical-grade wrap keeps the cold directly off your skin preventing cryoburn while delivering cold right where you need it.
Once the pain of your frozen shoulder has been reduced it is important to begin BFST® to improve elasticity and loosen up the area. BFST® will improve blood flow and relax muscles that have become stiff and tense because you are not using your shoulder properly.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™ BFST® nourishes and strengthenes your shoulder joint tissue and surrounding area. Using BFST® will speed your recovery and heal your rotator cuff more completely preparing it for strengthening exercises. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to find out which exercises are appropriate for your situation.
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy™
The shoulder joint naturally receives a limited blood supply. When it's stiff and difficult to move the blood flow is reduced even further, limiting your body's natural ability to heal itself.
By treating your rotator cuff with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply to the shoulder and increase your body's natural healing power.
An Inferno Wrap® for your shoulder is the tool you need to treat your sore shoulder because it speeds healing and relaxes the surrounding muscles. With BFST®, tissues are safely and gently stimulated. Your body responds with a rapid increase in blood flow to the area, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to injured tissue to promote healing. Our Inferno Wrap® gives you the most effective, non-invasive, non-addictive, pain relief and healing with no side effect.
In addition, the improved blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from injury, scar tissue, and lack of blood flow. When you stop moving your arm and shoulder, your muscles and other tissue can become weak and dead cells and toxins in the area can cause further tissue deterioration - this can lead to atrophy (muscle weakness and/or deterioration). By clearing the area of toxins and increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your muscle and other tissue, the risk of atrophy is greatly reduced. Keeping your upper arm, shoulder and rotator cuff tissue as healthy as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to improve shoulder strength again once your pain has gone and your tear has healed.
With these easy-to-use, home therapies, cold compression and BFST®, you will notice significantly reduced pain, faster healing, and an incredible improvement in your rotator cuff range of motion.
During your recovery, you may have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your rotator cuff area until your pain and inflammation settle, and you gain more mobility and strength in your shoulder. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Surgical Procedures for Frozen Shoulder
Manipulation Under Anesthesia
In rare cases, if the usual treatment options have been unsuccessful, manipulation under anesthesia may be required. Athough this procedure requires anesthesia, no actual surgery involved, meaning incisions are not made when a manipulation is performed. The doctor moves the arm to break up the scar tissue within and surrounding the joint. This is a painful procedure as it requires tearing of the scar tissue, but you will be able to move your shoulder joint more after the manipulation.
Follow up the manipulation with cold compression therapy immediately. Continue with cold compression until the pain and inflammation has been reduced. Once inflammation, swelling, and bruising has been calmed you can begin BFST® treatments to maintain healthy tissue in your arm and shoulder, reduce the risk of atrophy, and improve the health of the tendons and ligaments that have been damaged during the manipulation procedure.
Arthroscopic Capsular Release
Alternatively, or in conjunction with a manipulation, an arthroscope can be inserted into the joint to cut through the scar tissue. This procedure is called an arthroscopic capsular release. Surgical capsular release of a frozen shoulder is rarely necessary, but it is extremely useful in cases of frozen shoulder that do not respond to physical therapy or regular exercises done at home. If surgery is performed, immediate physical therapy following the capsular release is of utmost importance. If rehabilitation does not begin soon after arthroscopic capsular release, the chance of the frozen shoulder returning is quite high.
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.